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Difference Between Plants and Animals

Primary Difference

Both are living things but vary from one another in many different aspects. Plant cells are usually rooted to one place so they can’t actually move unlike animals that are able to move freely. Plants cannot smell at all while animals have strong sense of smelling and can smell their prey and other animals from a large distance. Additionally plants lack a nervous system as a result they have very basic sensory abilities and animals have a well-developed nervous system and very much developed sensory organs. Moreover animals have to look for food and they are dependent upon other plant and animals for food. While on the other hand plants have the ability to make their own food as they contain chlorophyll. In terms of breathing animals usually require oxygen to breathe which they take in and take out carbon dioxide which is in return used by the plants to make food. And in the case of plants they take out oxygen and take in carbon dioxide which is given out by animals, so they act oppositely. But plants and animals are multicellular organisms where plants belong to the kingdom Plantae and animals from kingdom Animalia. The process of photosynthesis takes place in plants and respiration in the animals. Plants need soil for the intake of water and also for a firm stand but animals are dependent and have the ability to move freely.

Comparison Chart

MovementCan moveCannot move
ProductCarbon DioxideOxygen
Internal SystemComplex inner structures as they have different systems like the digestive system and respiratory systemDo not have any complex system in them

Definition of Plants

Plants are living things and are divided into several groups which are land plants, green plants, archaeplastida and other groups. Additionally these groups have sub groups. It is associated with the kingdom Plantae. Since their existence they have resulted in an increased level of complexity. For the growth of the plants solid material is required which is provided by the atmosphere. Through photosynthesis plants use sunlight for the conversion of carbon dioxide and also convert water into the simplest form of sugar. The intake of water by plants is primarily done through the soil and soil is the one which provide them support as it contains high amounts of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and many other essential nutrients which are required by the plant. When we talk about growth of the plants we see that it is dependent upon many environmental factors like the temperature, total amount of water, nutrients, light and carbon dioxide. Similarly there are many biotic factors that also affect the growth of the plants. Usually when the temperature is very low i.e. when there is cold weather it is responsible for the intracellular formation. Internally plants contain xylem and phloem which are specialized structures which help in the intake of water, minerals and other nutrients. The total amount of oxygen present in the atmosphere is mainly due to the plants. In terms of nutrition plants are the main source for providing nutrition in the form of food and beverages like wheat, barley, juices, cereals, rice, oat and millet etc. not only plants produce food products but also natural products like oil, waxes, resins, natural dyes and cork etc.


Definition of Animals

Animals is the word which came from a Latin word called ‘animalis’ which means having a soul, having breathe or a living being. They were evolved from a flagellated eukaryote. Animals are considered to be a close member of human beings who have the category of mammals and other vertebrates. They have many characteristics like they are multicellular, heterotrophic, they are motile and eukaryotic. Animals are heterotrophs because they feed indirectly and also directly on other living things. They feed Animals consist of many different tissues, structures and muscles. Moreover they undergo sexual reproduction as well as asexual reproduction. Some animals are vertebrates which have backbone like fishes, mammals, amphibians, birds and reptiles while other group is of invertebrates that lack a backbone which include corals, molluscs, insects, velvet worms etc. a total of 1,371, 253 animals’ species exist.

Differences in a Nutshell

  1. Animals can move; plants can’t move.
  2. Plants undergo the process of photosynthesis; animals undergo respiration.
  3. Plants take out oxygen; animals take out carbon dioxide.
  4. Animals are dependent for food on other sources; plants make their food themselves as they contain chlorophyll.
  5. Plants consist of only the basic ability of sense; animals consist of many senses.
  6. Plants lack a nervous system; animals consist of a nervous system.
  7. Animals have complex inner structures as they have different systems like the digestive system and respiratory system etc. whereas plants do not have a complex internal system.


These two types are perhaps the simplest ones and anyone who has a slightest of knowledge about things will be able to tell how plants and animals are different from each other. There are many other complicated ways to describe the differences between them as well and that is what this article has done, so that people can gain more knowledge.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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